I’m sorry, I lied. An Email Marketing Success Story.

I'm sorry I lied

I thought I’d share an email marketing success story…

Every 3 months, we send a series of 3 to 4 emails specific to a quarterly training product launch.

Recently I was just going over historical open/click rates on this series, and was reminded of this one particular success.

Not only did the click rate skyrocket, but one extra cool thing happened that I’m super proud of.

So I thought I’d share, because success stories are fun.

SUBJECT: Sorry, I lied about the value of coached training.


Hi, [First Name]…


I have a confession to make.


I’ve been talking a lot about how coached training can enhance your career and improve your business.


I’ve shared stories about successful graduates who got exciting promotions, jobs, and clients because they took these courses.


I’ve shared the stories behind our most recent Top Gun graduates.


And I even told horror stories about how badly you’ll fall behind your competitors if you don’t get this training.


But here’s the truth:


This training can’t do everything for you.


The key to your success – or failure – is already in your hands.


Because it’s hard work that really makes the difference.


Getting this coached training means making a serious commitment to yourself, your business, your career, and your family.


It means putting aside your favorite TV shows so you can watch streaming video lessons instead.


It means taking quizzes to check your progress, and going back to study harder on what you’re struggling with.


It means taking copious notes, and turning in weekly assignments, and reviewing your personalized feedback.


It means creating a final real-world project from scratch, that has measurable ROI for your company or clients.


It means being organized, and forward thinking, and willing to do the hard work that success in anything worthwhile requires.


It means discovering you don’t know as much as you thought you did.


Failing, and trying again.


If that’s not you, these courses won’t work.


Because they’re not magic.


But if that is you? If that’s the kind of dedicated professional you are?


Then your life is about to change.


And that’s no lie.


[[ Button: Start The Change ]]


PS: We want you to be able to take advantage of this opportunity, and we want it to be right for you. If you need help determining which course will have the most impact on your life, or you need to spread your investment out over time, reply to this email and ask us for help. We want to make this work.

Here’s what happened with this email:

Unique click rate went from a historical average of 0.9% to 1.61 = +78.8%

And the average open rate (FWIW) from 19.11 to 24.4% = +27.6%

But what was even cooler was this:

An existing customer, who’d already purchased the training for his entire corporate team, copied the entire body of this message into an internal memo, to help ensure his team understood the commitment their training would take, and help him achieve the ROI he needed. And he let us know he’d done so, because he appreciated it just that much.

Here’s a little of what he told his team, in addition to sharing the above email in its entirety:

Hi Team,

Next Tuesday, we begin our online digital marketing training. We need to be versed in digital. We need to be able to speak, consult, strategize and integrate social media into everything we do. And we need to grow our skills and abilities.


As a firm, we had a choice regarding how to attack digital: invest in an outsider(s) to do this for us; or invest in ourselves. We’re choosing the latter – while it may take longer, it’s an education and knowledge base that can’t ever be taken away, individually and collectively, and it’s a strong effort to make sure our client solutions are truly integrated.


This is an opportunity for all of us to advance our skills and become more valuable to clients. The training represents a significant time and financial investment – I am taking it very seriously (that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun), and you are expected to as well.


Thanks in advance for your commitment to this.

Now, I may not hit a home run every time, but I’m super proud of that one. ‘Coz it not only inspired loads of new people to consider the training, but helped post sale as well.

QUESTION: What can I learn from this? What do *you* think people responded to? Have you had success with this “are you tough enough” angle yourself? I’d love to brainstorm how to get some learning out of this and try to repeat history.

Share in the comments.


Re: The low average rates: Let me just say that it’s not a great list.

But I can’t do anything about that… it’s a list cobbled and nurtured by the client over years, and they’re desperately afraid to take any names off it because they might, someday, maybe, after years of ignoring the emails, decide to buy.

So I look at trends over time and I do what I can.




One thought on “I’m sorry, I lied. An Email Marketing Success Story.

  1. Hi there,
    the title of this post exactly:

    “I’m sorry, I lied. An Email Marketing Success Story”

    then I see a tons of your emails in my mail,
    so, the marketing is in work, ha-ha
    Well, I’ve read them (not all, but partly), and found one very interesting thing:
    you mentioned about movies without…scripts, didn’t hear about this before…
    ok, everybody teach us, screenwriters, to do everything at it best, re-write,
    re-write and once more re-write, polish it, learn more of the craft etc.

    And what I find comparing even award winning movies with their scripts?
    The are …different in many details: dialogs, scene sequence etc,
    so, somebody did it at his best, still,any way, the final result is another

    Do you follow my thought?

    So, what I know about my own finished script, is:
    it has an interesting plot, strong characters, a lot of gags (it’s a comedy),
    unusual twists, and these all force a reader to turn a page.

    But what about all the mentioned above of revisions made by
    production crew ( those yellow, pink and other coloured revisions)?

    And the thought is coming: don’t try to polish it a lot,
    you’d better to find right people to promote it.

    So, the question is: what to start with?

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